Tax Preparation Checklist for 2022: What to Gather Before Filing in California

There are a lot of forms involved in filing taxes, so make sure you have everything you need before preparing your tax returns in California:

  • Gather any documents related to income earned throughout 2021.
  • Gather forms supporting available deductions or tax credits related to healthcare, childcare, education, and job expenses.

It is never too early to start gathering your tax documents! You can download our handy checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared to file. The documents can be used for both your federal and California state return.

Personal Documents

  • Your social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), as well as those of anyone you may be claiming on your tax return, including your spouse if you are filing jointly.
  • Photo identification.

Income Documents

  • W-2 forms from any employers you worked for in 2021.
  • 1099 forms for any contract work you completed if you earned more than $600 total.
  • Income from unemployment or social security benefits.
  • Income from the previous year’s state and local tax returns.
  • Income from any rental properties you may own.

Income Adjustment, Credit, and Deduction Documents

  • Copy of IRS Letter 6475 for EIP (Stimulus) payments
  • Copy of IRS Letter 6419 that provides the total amounts of Advanced Child Tax Credit payments that were dispersed to you in 2021 (if applicable). 
  • Receipts from charitable donations.
  • Receipts from moving expenses for active military.
  • Receipts from job search expenses.
  • Records related to loss of property or insurance claims from a federally declared disaster.
  • Bank account and routing number if you want your refund direct deposited.

Other Documents

  • Contributions to a Medical Savings Account (MSA).
  • Contributions to an IRA.
  • Interest from investments, stocks, or other property.
  • Costs related to childcare (including the provider’s tax ID number) or adoption.
  • Costs related to education (1098-T and 1098-E).
  • Costs related to homeownership (1098s for mortgage interest, property tax, energy-saving improvements, or other expenses).
  • Costs related to medical care from doctors, hospitals, or other providers.
  • Form 1095-A for health insurance through the Marketplace Exchange, or 1095-B or -C for health insurance through another source.

Get Help Filing Your Return

If the thought of preparing and filing your taxes makes your head spin, have no fear – there is help available through OC FREE TAX PREP. Orange County United Way has joined forces with H&R Block, the IRS, and a coalition of local partners to support Orange County residents during tax season. This year, OC Free Tax Prep will continue to provide its free tax preparation service via COVID-friendly options, including:

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